Plant Based Road Trip – Day 3

A couple days ago my mom called. She wasn’t feeling as well as she would like and was overwhelmed with some things going on with my grandmother being in and out of the hospital. I knew while we were talking that I needed to drive out to help out for a bit.

I decided that I would leave the next day. When I go on a road trip I really like to plan ahead and get road snacks and meals so I don’t end up eating a bag of chips from a gas station. I wasn’t able to plan ahead for this one though. So I grabbed an apple and some almonds and hit the road.

About two hours in I arrived hungry in Phoenix. I found a Taco Bell and ordered a burrito with beans, potatoes, and rice. Taco Bell is probably my fav go to on the road. It is somewhat healthy and really customizable for a vegan diet.

Luckily, I have made this drive a lot and I happened to know of a make your own pizza place in Blythe, CA. If you have never been to Blythe then let me tell you that it is pretty amazing that in the middle of the desert by the Arizona stateline there is a great vegan option.

I ordered a pizza with red sauce, olives, zuchinni, bell peppers, and onions. I wish there was a left green but it was still good!

Pizza Studio Vegan Pizza!

We hit the road again and made it most of the way to my mom’s house when I stopped at nekter for a green smoothie.

Overall, it was a pretty healthy and satisfying day on the road. I didn’t feel like I ate a bunch of junk which was great!

If you can’t plan a lot of car snacks then try to plan your stops so you know where you can eat. And if nothing works go to Taco Bell!

Use It Or Lose It – Day 2

Today’s blog post will be a pretty short one. I drove out to California to visit my mom today and I am pretty tired. I am happy to be out here and tomorrow I will post about being vegan on the road.

Yesterday was a pretty standard day. I went back to work after the holidays and went back to my roll of putting out fires. I work in a school and grades were due, so some drama!

For dinner last night I decided that I should use a lot of the veggies in the fridge that would go bad before I got back from California. I found a yellow pepper, purple cabbage, celery, cucumber, and arugula. I chopped all that up and dressed it with lime juice and balsamic vinegar. I added salt, pepper, basil, and garlic. I also made pasta noodles and threw it all togehter in a bowl!

I was going to make spagetti but realized we did not have any sauce or anything to make sauce so the chopped veggie pasta it was.

It was a super fast and easy mean but it tasted amazing!

This year one of the ways that I am practicing compassion is through self-compassion. I have been allowing myself to really enjoy my meals and eat until I am full. I will write a post about this more later, but I just want to say that it has been great eating and just enjoying my food!

That is all I have for today! I am going to hit the hay and hope to wake up a bit more recharged!

Thanks for reading!

Best Laid Plant Plans – Day 1

So here we are two days into 2020 and already I get to change the way I look at things. I knew that I wanted to be fully committed to a plant based vegan lifestyle for the whole of 2020. I was already pretty much there for 2019 but not fully. In November and December I committed again, but I was still pretty junk food vegan and eating too many processed foods for me.

I knew that starting on January 1st I was going to take things seriously. For me this meant that I needed to plan ahead so I didn’t just eat whatever was around when I woke up in the morning.

We invited a few friends over for New Years Eve and encouraged them to stay the night so they wouldn’t have to drive home. I spend most of the day on New Years Eve making food to share with our friends and to have ready for breakfast in the morning.

I meal prepped like a pro. I shredded potatoes for hash browns, prepped tofu for pesto scrambled tofu, and made a loaf of bread. The people who came over are lovely friends from Scott’s work. They know we are mostly plant based and only brought items with dairy which was pretty thoughtful.

I had very grand plans to make the most delicious vegan dishes. They would take a bite and be like this is sooooo good! And I would look at them and reply, its vegan! No one was privy to my grand ideas though and the night/day did no turn out like I thought.

I made these lovely fresh Spring Rolls and peanut sauce. I was so proud of them and thought they look great! I was like oh no I only made 10! That won’t be enough for the six people who came over. It was more than enough because only one guest tried one! I think they looked too healthy compared to all the chips and quesso. I had like three and I was so happy.

Spring rolls in brown rice paper and peanut dipping sauce.

The next morning I woke up and made breakfast for everyone. When I asked who wanted some they were all like “what is it?” I will just have potatoes and bread.

Like for real? Just potatoes and bread? Then I looked while they were eating and no one ate the potatoes other than my husband and I. I forgot that not everyone knows how good Turmeric is and I added like 1/2 teaspoon worth to the potatoes. Apparently, that was too much and people would not even try them. We took plates full of potatoes and bread crust, yes, they only ate the inside part of the bread, back to the kitchen.

The Turmeric Potatoes I made for NYE!

While all of this was happening I was seriously doubting my cooking skills. My plans to show some nice people how great plant based cooking could be was a flop!

While I was spiraling in a web of self-doubt and judgmental thoughts, I realized that I woke up with my first test of my compassion. I decided that this year I would be a more compassionate person. On January 1, 2020 at 9:30 am I was given my first opportunity. I am not going to brag about how kind I was or how I turned the situation around and got them to eat a head of broccoli. Cause that isn’t what happened.

Instead, I tried my best to let it go. I thought about the expectation I had placed on people who had not asked me to put that expectation on them. I had just decided that these guys whom I had only seen eat Litter Ceasar’s Pizza and Dairy Queen chicken fingers would be hyped to eat vegan on New Years.

The blue iced sugar cookies that helped me realize why my vegan food was not appealing to my SAD friends.

As I took their full plates into the kitchen I looked around at the leftover food they brought with them. Bags of Lays and Tostitos, ranch dip, iced blue sugar cookies. None of what they brought reflected a whole food.

In that moment I realized that if I am going to win anyone on a Standard American Diet over to eating just SOME plants I needed to up my game. Why start them with a tofu scramble? I was closer with the hash browns but they needed to be white and use some more oil. While I am not super keen on using a lot of oil, I am now considering it a tool in my quest to get people to eat more plants. I will up the fat, sugar, salt if I make anything for them again and slowly start to find a way to help them see that plants can be great.

I was really grateful to be reminded of how far I have come in my diet and to have some compassion for my friends who may not share my interest or knowledge on how great a plant based life is. My hope is renewed that I can share great food with friends and family and help them try something that might lead them down a more healthy path!

My Word for 2020: Compassion

Penny and I being so cool on New Year’s Eve!

Happy New Year! It is really crazy for me to wrap my head around the fact that it is 2020. When I was young I sat down and figured out when I could legally run for President of the United States. When I realized that i would be 35 in an election year I was all about that business. I made business cards announcing my candidacy with the slogan: Erica is the clear choice in 2020!

Well 2020 is here and I wanted to take this moment to announce my candidacy for President of the United States.


Nine year old me would be rather disappointed in my lack of political aspirations. Maybe one day!

Enough of a trip down memory lane, its time to deal with what is actually happening in 2020.

I used to be a new year’s resolution person. I would sent goals, Do OK and then that was that. Nothing much changed and I can’t recall a resolution that I made in the past.

About five years ago I decided to

To change things up. I read or heard this idea about choosing a word that you want to live into for the upcoming year. Words that I have chosen in the past are Love, Freedom, and Reduce. The year was my word I met my husband (crazy and not the point!) In 2019 my word was Reduce and I was focused on reducing my plastic intake and impact on the world. I can share more of what I did in this arena here later.

This year I am choosing the word Compassion. I want to grow in my love, understanding, and action motivated by these things towards myself, others, and my world.

One of the ways I plan to do this is by going all in and living a vegan lifestyle. I have been mostly plant based for some time and It is just time to eat all the plants and help others learn why this is the most important way to live. As the Vegan Society says, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” Living a life that is aimed at reducing cruelty and exploration seems like a wonderful place to grow in compassion

I plan to try a different theme each month that relates to Compassion. I am starting January with a bit of self-compassion which I will explain more tomorrow.

I hope to use this space to keep myself accountable, share what I have learned along the way, and remember to live a compassionate lifestyle.


Happy New Year! Today I have been working on making some delicious, vegan snacks and treats for a New Year Eve’s Party that we are throwing for our new Arizona friends. They are not vegan, and will probably bring their own snacks but at least we can eat!

The other day I took Penny on a walk that we have been on several times. It is a beautiful walk and it has not gotten old yet, at least not for me. Penny is all about going on a different walk every single day.

We were just chugging along when I was struck by how much I have been allowing myself to follow a routine and actually enjoy it.

A couple years ago I took the Enneagram and I am pretty sure I am a 7. For the 7 they like variety and are excited to do a lot of different things. Sooo the fact that I am enjoying the routine of my life right now is pretty big!

The thing that I realized that is helping me find value in routine is that I am not stuck. I have chosen this current routine. The yoga classes I go to follow the same flow each time, I take Penny on a 2 mile loop that we enjoy. I wake up everyday at 6:30 like a crazy person!

The thing that I am learning about routine is that there is always something different in each experience. In yoga I notice the way my body feels in a different pose or how much more or less flexible I am in each pose.

When I was on the walk with Penny she stopped to take a good long smell. While she was smelling the red dirt I looked up and had a different view than I had seen for a while.

View of Bell Rock from our hike.

We live in such a beautiful place and there are many different things to see. I realized that there is no problem in routine as long as it does not become a rut.